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Eller, Smith to meet in 2nd Congressional District Republican Primary Runoff

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune.

Ron Eller and Andrew Scott Smith

  • On Tuesday, GOP voters will decide who will be the GOP nominee in the November General Election against longtime incumbent Democrat Bennie Thompson.

Republican voters in Mississippi’s 2nd Congressional District will return to the polls on Tuesday, April 2nd to choose their party’s nominee for the U.S. House seat currently held by Democrat Bennie Thompson.

Ron Eller, running a second time for the seat, is once again in a Republican Primary Runoff after winning over 46% of the vote in the March 12th Primary. Two years ago, Eller pulled in 32% of the vote in the 2022 GOP Primary, forcing a runoff with then-candidate Brian Flowers. Eller lost that runoff to Flowers, only winning 42%.

Eller is a retired U.S. Army Captain who is now a business owner and a cardiothoracic physician assistant. He is the founder and CEO of Buck Warrior Enterprises LLC.

Eller’s challenger in this year’s Republican Primary Runoff is newcomer Andrew Scott Smith. Smith finished second in the three-person March 12th Primary, receiving just under 36% of the vote. Smith’s campaign website says he has worked in agriculture, the automotive industry, commercial real estate appraisal, and voluntary workplace benefits.

Flowers, the candidate who bested Eller in the 2022 runoff, has endorsed Smith after visiting with both candidates. In a Facebook post last week, Flowers said, “One candidate has stood out to me. This candidate went above and beyond by going to the southern border to get a first hand understanding of what is going on. I believe this candidate has the understanding of how we need our Congressman to represent us in Congress. This same candidate has been making his rounds around the district, getting to know the people. I believe that this candidate has the personality to really connect to the people of the district. With all this said, I am officially endorsing Andrew Scott Smith as the candidate to be the Republican Representative for District 2.”

The third-place finisher in the March 12th Primary, Taylor Turcotte, who received nearly 18% of the vote, said recently in a Facebook post that she has not endorsed anyone “so therefore I am not working with anyone either.”

“I can’t bring myself to endorse either of the candidates. Considering I don’t live in District 2, this runoff doesn’t affect me directly…,” Turcotte posted, in part, on March 17th.

Turcotte has been vocally critical of Eller since losing the Primary.

Some critics have pointed to Eller’s history of voting in Democratic Party primaries in both 2016 and 2020 as cause for concern.

Eller, however, has received the endorsement of former U.S. Senate candidate Ghannon Burton who drew 25% of the vote against incumbent Senator Roger Wicker in the March 12th Primary. Burton said Eller is “fully committed to the America First Agenda,” adding that he is a family man with “unblemished integrity.”

Congressman Bennie Thompson

Whoever wins Tuesday’s GOP Primary Runoff will move on to the General Election in November where Congressman Thompson awaits.

Thompson has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993. He is the longest-serving black elected official in the State of Mississippi and the lone Democrat in the Mississippi Congressional Delegation.

Thompson began his political career as an Alderman for his hometown of Bolton before serving as Mayor. He was later elected as a Hinds County supervisor. Since being in Congress, Thompson has risen through the ranks to become a key leader in his party, previously serving as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riot as appointed by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Congressman Thompson’s campaign is sitting on nearly $1.7 million dollars cash on hand, according to his latest Federal Election Commission filing, after running unopposed in the March 12th Democratic Primary.

By comparison, Eller recently reported zero cash on hand while Smith is not showing a finance report filed with the FEC.

Polls will be open in the 2nd Congressional District from 7am to 7pm on Tuesday, April 2nd for the Republican Primary Runoff.

This article first appeared on the Magnolia Tribune and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.

Read original article by clicking here.

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